Global risk manager Maplecroft has completed its 2011 Global Risks Analysis, reviewing and rating 175 world nations for risk to personal security and to capital. Care to guess what position Vladimir Putin’s Russia occupies on that list?
That’s right — only 20 countries on this planet, less than 12% of the total, are more dangerous than Putin’s Russia.
Maplecroft explains why:
Russia is categorised as ‘extreme risk’ in the security cluster. It continues to face terrorist threats from Islamist and separatist insurgents from the Northern Caucasus. Continuing terrorist attacks serve to dent investor confidence and these groups once again proved their lethality in the recent attack on Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, which killed 35 people and injured over 100.
Because of its financial dependence on fossil fuel exports, Russia’s lack of resilience against macroeconomic risks was highly visible during the global financial crisis, when oil prices dropped. Oil prices are now on the rise, but Russia’s economy still remains at risk from volatility in the energy market. Russia is also categorised as ‘high risk’ in the Illicit Economy Index, with a high exposure to trafficking, corruption, counterfeiting and piracy. The country’s position in the overall ranking is compounded by a lack of the rule of law, which is a primary investment risk.
“Extreme risk” is as bad as you can get. Only four countries on the planet have an overall risk categorized as “extreme,” including Afghanistan and Somalia. But Russia, plagued by unchecked terrorism, falls into the category where personal security is concerned. Only nine countries in the entire world have greater personal security threats than Putin’s Russia, and it is only slightly better where threat to capital is concerned.
This is the place to which Vladimir Putin has led his hapless country. The whole point of dictatorship is supposed to be the elimination of risk. People who live under dictatorship are supposed to receive peace and order at the cost of personal freedom. Yet Russians have all the disadvantages of dictatorship and none of its supposed benefits. They live in a country where nobody can count on anything except misery. The consequence is that, as we report in other editorials in this issue, foreign investment is fleeing Russia like the plague and the country is spiraling into neo-Soviet poverty at an alarming rate.
Nothing more can be expected from a country that proudly, even smugly, chooses to be ruled by the KGB.